Venue in Focus: The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

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The Wedgewood Rooms, also known simply as ‘The Wedge’ to locals, is Southsea’s leading independent music venue. Located on Albert Road among many other independent businesses, The Wedgewood Rooms boasts a long history of music and culture.

The Wedgewood Rooms launched as a music venue in 1992, opening its doors to up-and-coming musicians – many of whom are now household names. Walk into the bar area and you’ll see a wall papered with posters of acts that have performed there over the years; Oasis, Pulp, The Strokes, and Muse just to name a few. It is also the main venue for new music festival Dials Festival, alternative festival Psyched Fest and local bands festival Icebreaker.

Additionally, other established bands such as Primal Scream, PJ Harvey, Kasabian and Damon Albarn have utilized The Wedgewood Rooms’ stage to offer intimate gigs and warm-up shows for their headline tours.

Because of its eclectic variety of performances on offer ranging from rock to jazz, The Wedgwood Rooms has become a familiar name to music enthusiasts in the south.

As well as music, the venue also showcases a wide variety of other entertainment; they have passed the mic to some of the best comics over the years including Michael McIntyre, Jack Whitehall, John Bishop and Jo Brand, all of whom went on to have illustrious careers. As the venue started as a comedy venue in 1992, their fortnightly comedy club is established as the original and oldest in Southsea.

On top of this, The Wedgewood Rooms stages many theatre, film and spoken word performances – including independent film events and spoken word events debuting people such as Howard Marks, Simon Yates and Benjamin Zephaniah.

What makes The Wedgewood Rooms so special is its involvement in the local community; yearly events like The St Valentines Day Massacre and Southsea Christmas Covers raise thousands annually, and local schools and colleges often get involved to show their student’s talent.

While the current pandemic threatens to shut down the live music industry, grassroots music venues like The Wedge have carried on fighting for survival. If we continue to support our favourite local venues, hopefully we’ll all be safely back there as soon as possible, dancing to our favourite songs.

You can keep up to date with The Wedge here.

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